NORTH Greenford United booked themselves a tasty FA Cup tie against Ryman League neighbours Harrow Borough after disposing of Tring Athletic.
Boss Neil Shipperley admitted that the Blues were far from at their best, and for long spells this team were forced to defend in numbers as the visitors fought back from conceding an early goal.
It was not until the introduction of 6ft 4in Harry Walker up front that United finally put the game to bed. The striker toe-poked home his first goal for the club after Tring keeper Mike Underwood had spilled a corner, before setting up another sub, Aaron Silcott, for the third.
United looked like they were in for an uncomplicated afternoon when Daryl Brown headed in Anton Robinson's precise cross with the game only eight minutes old.
But Tring recovered well from the setback and United allowed their lower league opponents to dictate. Blues stopper Lee Pearce had to be alert to tip a Jack Seaton header over the bar.
United continued to ride their luck in the second half and only the lack of a cutting edge denied the Herts team an equaliser in a game that became increasingly scrappy and niggly as Tring became frustrated by their inability to cash in on some good pressure while United struggled to impose themselves.
North Greenford needed to raise their game to see it out and Walker's arrival on the hour gave the home attacks a greater focal point – and removed an over-reliance on the excellent touches of Anthony O'Connor, leading the attack.
Walker was immediately a handful in the air and after he had notched in the crucial second goal on 72 minutes, he nodded down for Silcott to finish the job seven minutes from time with a sweetly struck shot across the exposed Tring keeper.
To their credit, the Spartan South Midlands League side refused to give up the ghost and kept throwing men forward, but it was United, with their swift counter-attacks, who now looked more likely to score again.
Tommy Cameron's left footer that only just cleared the bar almost put an even bigger gloss on a contest that was closer than the final scoreline suggested.
The reward for United, as well as the £1,925 prize money, is Harrow Borough away in the first qualifying round on September 14.